Provincial and Federal laws - Is your operation legal?

As with any livestock industry, there are certain federal and provincial laws that producers must comply with, including the following legislation and regulations.

Note: To view legislation and regulations mandating ALP operations, please visit the 'ALP Regulations' page under 'About' section of this website.

Farm and Ranch Workplace Legislation (Bill 6)

The legislation was passed in Alberta’s Legislature on December 10, 2015. The new rules will apply only to farm and ranch operations that employ paid workers. They won’t apply to owners or family members of owners. Changes from the bill began to come into effect on January 1, 2016.

To read the latest news regarding Bill 6 and to sign-up for updates, visit the Alberta Government website at http://www.alberta.ca/farm-and-ranch.cfm.

Visit the AgCoalition website, a producer-led initative founded in response to Bill 6.

Health of Animals Act (Federal) 

Canadian Sheep Identification Program became mandatory 1st January 2004.

The Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) is an industry-led initiative to develop a trace back system that will address producer concerns about sheep health and meet consumer expectations for quality assurance and food safety.

All sheep and lambs must bear an approved CSIP ear tag before they leave any premises.

This includes animals leaving the premises temporarily (for example: exhibitions, veterinarian clinics, community pastures).  It is illegal to transport untagged animals.

For full details of the CSIP see The Canadian Sheep Identification Program page of this website.     

You will need to provide your PID when ordering Canadian Sheep Identification Program tags.

This program is transitioning to the mandatory use of RFID tags. For latest transition dates see www.cansheep.ca.


Animal Health Act and Regulations (Alberta)

The intent of the legislation is to put in place both the necessary infrastructure and traceability systems that are designed to increase the capability of a rapid response in relation to threats of disease outbreaks affecting animal health. The Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian of Alberta (OCPV) is given authority to play a lead role in animal disease response and animal health programs.

The Act puts the onus on an owner of an animal or authorised person to advise the OCPV of any reportable or notifiable diseases. These terms refer to diseases that are threats to animal health, public health, food safety, and the economic interests of the animal industry. Additionally, the OCPV has the authority to examine animals that have come into contact with reportable or notifiable diseases.

Response mechanisms are designed to control, eradicate, or employ bio-security measures in order to minimise the risk of presence and spread of disease. These include: inspection; quarantine, the establishment of a surveillance zone or a control zone. If necessary, the OCPV may order the destruction of diseased animals, animal products or by-products, or property that has been contaminated as a result of coming into contact with a diseased animal or a disease causing agent. Examination of diseased dead animals may also be made.

For full details of this legislation, please go to: Government of Alberta Animal Health Act and Regulations.

Premises Identification became mandatory on January 1, 2009

Premises Identification (PID) links livestock and poultry to a geographical location or premises. PID is an important tool that is used to plan for, control, and prevent the spread of livestock and poultry disease. It can also be used as an early warning system to notify people registered in the PID system of an animal disease or natural disaster (such as a flood or fire) that could affect their animals or operations. Having accurate animal locations, contact information and other key data in one system is critical for a quick and effective emergency response.

If you are in care and control of livestock, poultry or other animals in captivity (excluding cats and dogs) and the animals are kept at your premises, you need to apply for a PID account and obtain at least one PID number.

If you operate a commingling site (e.g. stable, community pasture, fair ground, etc.), you are required to obtain a PID account, register all your commingling sites and provide the PID number(s) to the users of your site(s).

Under Alberta’s Premises Identification Regulation, animals refers to the following animals in captivity: alpacas, cattle, bees, bison, cervids, donkeys, doves, emu, fish as defined under the Fisheries (Alberta) Act, fur-bearing animals as defined in the Fur FarmsAct, game birds, goats, horses, llamas, mules, ostriches, pigeons, poultry, meat production rabbits, sheep, swine, waterfowl, wild boars and yaks. 

To review/update your PID information or to apply for a PID account and number:

You will need to provide your PID number when purchasing Canadian Sheep Identification Program tags.

Q&A on Premises Identification Information

Individual Animal Identification

For animal identification, the ability to identify an individual animal is important in delivering full traceability. Under the Animal Health Act all reportable livestock need to be identified. Most animal identification requirements are administered nationally. Alberta does not wish to duplicate efforts and accepts national provisions in accordance with respective industry systems.


The Livestock Identification and Commerce Act and Regulation (LICA)

The Livestock Identification and Commerce Act (LICA) came into force on January 1, 2009. LICA is a consolidation and modernization of the Brand Act, the Livestock Identification and Brand Inspection Act and the Livestock and Livestock Products Act. All of the provisions of LICA apply to cattle and horses and only select provisions of this Act apply to sheep and swine.

After consultation with producers and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the Alberta Sheep & Wool Commission (now Alberta Lamb Producers) asked that sheep be defined as livestock under the Act. This allows producers to take advantage of the provisions dealing with livestock manifests, sales transactions and licensing of livestock dealers and livestock dealers’ agents.

Livestock transportation

All sheep transported or driven in Alberta or to a destination outside of Alberta are required to be accompanied with an Alberta livestock manifest. Alberta livestock manifests are available from Livestock Identification Services Ltd. at 1-866-509-2088 or www.lis-alberta.com. (Some Agriculture & Rural Development hub offices and auction markets carry stocks of manifests.)

For help with completing a livestock manifest, download Livestock Manifest in AB (pdf).

Sales transactions

When sheep are sold, the sale transaction must be documented in writing by either a bill of sale prepared by the owner or a settlement statement prepared by the purchaser or a livestock dealer on behalf of the seller or the purchaser. The person who sells sheep must disclose whether they are the owner or a livestock dealer acting on behalf of the owner. Also, when sheep are sold, the owner must provide a written livestock security interest declaration to the purchaser or to the livestock dealer acting on behalf of the owner. This declaration can be completed on the livestock manifest or on a separate form.

Livestock dealers

All persons dealing in sheep must be licensed as a livestock dealer or a livestock dealer’s agent. All of the provisions of LICA and the General Regulation governing the licensing of livestock dealers apply to people to who deal in sheep.

More information on LICA is available at the Livestock Identification Service website.


Natural Resources Conservation Board Act

NRCB (Natural Resources Conservation Board) is responsible for the permitting of CFO's (Confined Feeding Operations) and is also responsible for addressing complaints regarding the management of manure on agricultural operations in Alberta. The NRCB has been responsible for regulating Alberta's confined feeding operations since 2002.

Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) is provincial legislation which sets manure management standards for all operations in Alberta who handle manure. The Act defines siting and construction standards for manure storage and collection facilities, addresses the application of manure to agricultural land and ensures environmental protection through an approval process which involves directly affected neighbours and the municipalities. Nuisances such as odour, dust, noise and smoke resulting from agriculture activities are also dealt with in the Act. The Act also outlines penalties and fines that apply to contraventions of the Act.

AOPA Legislation